Exceptional and very rare wrought iron spring dividers dating to the early 17th century. These large and complex antique dividers feature two opposing springs brought in tension with a simple joint on top and a long threaded arc with two thumbscrews for very fine adjustments. Every part is elaborately decorated including the octagonal legs, the arc with a sphere at one end and octagonal ball in the middle, fine molding profiles where the arc meets the legs, and file worked curves and moldings on the thin upper leaves. A very elegant piece certainly dating to the 17th century perhaps even turn of the previous century. Though purchased from Germany these may be German, French or possibly English in origin.
In excellent condition with fine aged patina, fully functional.
18 inches/46 cm
Smaller and simpler examples of 17th century spring dividers maybe seen in museums and past sales:
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Instrumentum is based in the United States and specializes in high quality 17th and 18th century scientific instruments for architecture, mathematics and navigation. We have collected antique instruments for over 20 years with a focus on early and rare European architectural drafting sets, dividers, and rules. If you are interested in something particular please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Image galleries of our inventory can be viewed on Pinterest and Facebook at the following links: